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You took a son from me. Give me a son, brave thane. Stay with me. Love me... Love me... and I shall weave you riches... beyond imagination. I shall make you the greatest king that ever lived. As long as you hold me in your heart... and this golden horn remains in my keeping... You will forever be King. Forever strong, mighty... and all-powerful. This I promise. This... I swear...
~ Grendel's Mother trying to seduce Beowulf.

Grendel's Mother (also sometimes called "Hag" in the old Viking Beowulf saga) is one of the three main antagonists in the Viking saga Beowulf as well as its many retellings over the years, i.e. the 2007 3D motion capture film as the main antagonist: she has varied between a hideous old hag to a seductive femme fatale (similar to a siren) but has always remained consistent in her motives - to avenge the death of her son Grendel at the hands of the Viking hero Beowulf.

She was portrayed by Angelina Jolie in the 2007 adaptation, who previously voiced Lola in Shark Tale, and later portrayed Maleficent in the 2014 Disney film of the same name and Mrs. Nerse in The Cleveland Show.

Biography

Grendel's Mother has always been associated with the water and may well of been based on an ancient Slavic water-goddess or spirit: at any rate the monster attacked Beowulf and attempted to drag him to a watery grave (at least in the originally telling of the story) but was defeated by Beowulf in an epic struggle.

However in the modern retelling of Beowulf made famous by the Rendered 3D film, Grendel's Mother was not killed by Beowulf and is the main antagonist of the film as a whole. After Grendel is killed by Beowulf, she vows revenge. When he entered her cave, she took the form of a beautiful nude woman with gold skin. She falsely claimed was impressed by his strength and courage and saw in him the savagery of a beast and the glamour of a king. She swore to make him a king if he would mate with her and give her a son to replace Grendel. She seduced him and they conceived a child together. Their offspring was a perfect gold-skinned male who took the form of a mighty dragon. She and their son went on to attack Beowulf's kingdom, which resulted in the death of both Beowulf and their child. She then appeared at Beowulf's funeral and stole a kiss from his corpse as it burned on his funeral ship, possibly to steal his soul and torment it even further. She then swam in the ocean to tempt Wigluf (Beowulf's friend and the inheritor of his kingdom) to lay with her, give her another son and continue the cycle of Beowulf and Hrothgar's reigns as kings. It is left ambiguous to the new king's decision but it is likely Wigluf refused and broke the cycle. This is inconsistent with the old Norse saga - in which Beowulf slew her only to die years later at the hands of a dragon.

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